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What Do Customers Think About Variable Pricing in Restaurants?


I recently did a study on customer reaction to variable pricing in restaurants, particularly with regard to delivery pricing. I found the results quite interesting and hope that you do as well!


Here are the key points:

  1. Platform preference: 45% preferred to order from delivery platforms, 55% preferred to order directly from restaurants. Delivery platform users tended to be younger and ordered delivery more frequently.

  2. Pricing terms: Respondents had more positive opinions of pricing terms like ‘happy hour’ and ‘Taco Tuesday’ that were associated with providing value for customers. They were least positive about terms like dynamic pricing and surge pricing.

  3. Delivery prices and fees: Although restaurants set their own delivery platform prices, it seems that the word hasn’t gotten out to consumers. About 59% of respondents thought that restaurants set their own prices. And, delivery platforms typically set the delivery and service fees. About 75% of respondents were aware of this.

  4. Role of information and amount of price premium: Providing information on the added cost of commission did not have a significant impact on attitudes on fairness, acceptability, understandability and intent to order again. Lower price premiums were associated with higher intent to reorder.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to comment.

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